You are here:

Parenting --Teens/teen lying, sneaking around, no remorse

Advertisement


Question
My daughter is 16.  She academically excels & is currently valdictorian of her class.  She is extremely shy and therefore, doesn't go out much & has no experience with boys.  She met a boy online (he is 18) 6 months ago. In the last 6 months she has snuck out 4 times to see him, even gotten in his vehicle and went driving around. I have tried grounding her, but it does nothing.  Tried taking her cell phone and she just borrowed her friend's to contact him.  This last time, she tested positive for marijuana. I have tried explaining the dangers of this behavior, where this will lead her in life, and that all of our rules/consequences are out of our love and concern for her.  She is a smart girl, but has made it clear to me that she is not going to quit seeing him.  Period.  She has no guilt and has yet to apologize once.  I am not getting anywhere with her. Feeling defeated and would love any suggestions.  Thank you so much.

Answer
S,

I can hear the concern and frustration in you email.  As I explain to many parents while you may not be able to control your teenager, as long as you provide food, shelter, money, transportation, etc., you can control their environment. It will be your consistency and ability not to argue or pursued her with reason that will help you through this.

I would start off by telling your daughter that it's true, you cannot control her. She is old enough to make her own choices, but there are consequences in life for each choice she makes and there are consequences in your home for those choices too.  Then set up those consequences. We typically used the TEASPOT in our home (Take Everything Away for Short Period Of Time). This means we remove all privileges (t.v., computer, cell phone, free time) for periods of 1-5 days.  The longest period of TEASPOT, 5 days should be used for failing drug tests, sneaking out, etc. You will need to be consistent and not extend it when she acts like it doesn't bother her. Make sure she knows what the consequences are and that she is in control of whether or not she endure them. Then be consistent with them. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Also, encourage the relationship, but with a twist. Tell her that it appears that she is really invested in him and you want to help support her, but in order to do that she has to bring him to the house and see him there, supervised, until he has earned trust. Explain that if he cares as much for her as she does him this shouldn't be a problem and he will want to support her. You and I both know, if he is trying to lead her astray, this won't happen and she will begin to see that he is not invested in her or supportive of her. Also explain that marijuana is illegal and when she fails a drug test she is unable to see him or contact him for a week.

I hope this advise is helpful to you. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Parenting --Teens

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Penny K

Expertise

I enjoy assisting parents in parenting atypical teenagers that do not respond well to normal parenting techniques. I am able to provide parents with a straight forward behavioral approach that has proved to be successful.

Experience

My husband and I have raised 31 daughters, 29 of our children were foster teens who ranged in age from 11-18. I was a site director for a local group home for adolescent girls, an Executive Director for the Children's Policy Council and the Executive Vice President for a residential treatment facility that specialized in alcohol and drug treatment for adjudicated adolescent males and provided comprehensive assessment to adolescents in the custody of the state. I have been a staff trainer for the Boys Town Model of Care and for the past 10 years I am the lead facilitator for the Parent Project parenting class in my county. In the past 20 years of my career I have assisted over 2000 adolescent youth and their families.

Education/Credentials
Boys Town Behavioral Management Trainer Parent Project Facilitator

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.